Jon Runyan Jr. addresses goofy notion that his father suspended Mike Evans to help the Packer

USA TODAY Sports

It’s good to be skeptical about the various things that can corrupt a decision-making process. However, at times the effort to spot potential conflicts of interest can run amok.

That’s exactly what happened with the suspension of Buccaneers receiver Mike Evans.

The initial decision was made by former NFL player Jon Runyan. His son plays for the Packers. The Packers play the Buccaneers on Sunday. Obviously, it helps the Packers if Evans doesn’t play.

And so a notion emerged on Monday that Jon Sr. would do Jon Jr. a favor by suspending Evans. The crackpot theory gained some legitimacy when Schefty actually dignified it with a mention during halftime of the Vikings-Eagles game.

Although I usually love a nice, juicy controversy, this is a non-issue. As previously explained, Jon Sr. consults with others in the league office. Also, and far more importantly, the decision made by the league office is subject to appeal. If a suspension wasn’t warranted, James Thrash could have, and would have, come to that conclusion.

On Wednesday, Jon Runyan Jr. addressed the idea that dad did him a solid.

He was just doing his job,” Runyan Jr. said, via Rob Demovsky of ESPN.com. “He’s been doing that job for over a half-decade now. It just so happens that we’re playing the Buccaneers this week. Everybody’s trying to make it this conspiracy theory, which it’s not.”

Runyan Jr. seems to agree with his dad (and Thrash) that Evans deserved to be suspended.

“[It was a] lapse in judgment on the field,” Runyan Jr. said. “Sometimes, that stuff happens. There’s a whole conspiracy theory going down, and it’s not true. That’s just how it goes. You can’t be running 15 yards trying to head-hunt somebody when the play’s over. It is funny, though, how stuff works out sometimes.”

Runyan Jr. addressed the situation perfectly. The play was over. The whistle had blown. Evans sprinted in from the edge of the field and blasted Saints cornerback Marshon Lattimore. It was a dangerous and unnecessary maneuver. It was beyond the boundaries of the actual play on the field. Evans got what he deserved.

And the Runyans don’t deserve being on the wrong end of a stupid theory that deflects attention on the wrongdoing of the guilty party by pointing a finger at someone else and making something out of nothing.

24 responses to “Jon Runyan Jr. addresses goofy notion that his father suspended Mike Evans to help the Packer

  1. There are actually stupid people who believe that because Evans was defending Tom Brady he was justified.

    And of course if there’s a pile of manure that needs to be shoveled, Schefter is the man to do it.

  2. Unfortunately that’s just how it is for…some…in this country today. If we don’t get our way, it must be an insane and completely unverifiable conspiracy. And if anyone on our side doesn’t believe in the conspiracy, it’s because they are spies from the other side.

  3. While I’d believe them if they said it was coincidence, it’s not stupid to question it. It’s called a conflict of interest, and typically someone in Runyan’s positions would specifically abstain on ruling on a suspension since it affected his own son.

  4. Evans was suspended before for similar behavior, so there’s even a precedent for the decision to suspend him. Move along….nothing to see here

  5. In what universe (besides the Goodell universe rules) does a person get punished for breaking a rule, then does the exact same thing and get the same punishment for the second offense? Well, besides the Goodell universe.

  6. The league has demonstrated through the years that the disciplinary system IS biased in cases involving Ezekial Elliott, Sean Payton and the so-called Deflategate (among others), so it seems entirely possible if not probable that there could be inappropriate influence in this case as well.

  7. There was no other player that hit more after the whistle than Runyan Sr in his day. He was famous for blowing up anyone standing next to a pile. A lot more was allowed back then and he went right up to the rules and a little past them often. He is the expert on the subject and knows exactly what goes through the players mind on plays like that. Runyan Sr. could retroactively fine himself for hundreds of his hits that are now illegal.

  8. There sure would have been a lot of crying from the media and many fans about a potential conflict of interest if Derrick Brooks would have heard the appeal instead of Jon Runyan and Brooks removed the suspension. So likewise, any criticism or concern about Jon Runyan’s potential conflict of interest is also just as rightfully deserved.

  9. It used to be that most conspiracy theories had some basis in fact. Nowadays anytime a situation is adverse to someone’s interests some type of wacky cause is put forth to try and explain it.

  10. Some folks will make up an excuse for a reasonable action even though it’s a “no brainer” decision. How about those same folks blame Evans instead .. to easy and to simple?

  11. No Evans got suspended for being a jackass with no self control. How he allows that jerk Lattimore bait him into altercations is astonishing.

  12. So now every time a player runs over to push somebody after the whistle they get ejected and get suspended? Sure, will be the second time it has ever happened when it does.

  13. If it was Evans’ first time doing it – okay, maybe a little suspect.

    But considering this is the THIRD time Evans has gone at Lattimore after the play ended, he deserved to actually get more.

  14. And the Runyans don’t deserve being on the wrong end of a stupid theory that deflects attention on the wrongdoing of the guilty party by pointing a finger at someone else and making something out of nothing.
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    And neither does the good old USA.

  15. Runyan could’ve recused himself, as Thrash reportedly did, and this wouldn’t have been a possible issue.

  16. It takes a certain type of person to choose conspiracies over facts and truth as their first go-to line of defense. There’s way too much of that these days. Education helps.

  17. We live in a time where intelligent people are being silenced so stupid people won’t feel offended. That’s the truth.

  18. The consequence was too light for Evans. Even if the Bucs were playing all 4 NFCN teams in a row, he should get a 4 game suspension. How much of a deterrent is 1 game, especially when the league is concerned about “player safety”.

  19. stellarperformance says:
    September 22, 2022 at 9:12 am
    It takes a certain type of person to choose conspiracies over facts and truth as their first go-to line of defense. There’s way too much of that these days. Education helps.

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    Excellent post!!

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